Commissioner Rob Manfred to retire when current contract ends

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that he will retire at the end of his current term when it concludes on Jan. 25, 2029.

Manfred, 65, made the declaration when asked a question about his future during a press conference in Tampa, Fla.

“You can only have so much fun in one lifetime,” Manfred said. “I have been open with (the owners) about the fact that this is going to be my last term.”

Manfred succeeded Bud Selig as commissioner in January 2015. His latest four-year extension was approved by ownership last July.

Manfred said he expects owners to use a familiar system to find a replacement.

“I’m sure the selection process will look like it looked the last time,” Manfred said. “There will be a committee of owners that will be put together and they’ll identify candidates via an interview process, and a slate of people will be put forward.”

Manfred referenced that he would be 70 when his current term expires.

Manfred has been a strong advocate for shortening the time of games, and his steps to make that happen included a pitch clock.

He also added a sixth playoff team to both leagues, something that drew mixed reviews. But this past season, the sixth-seeded Arizona Diamondbacks were the National League’s representative in the World Series before losing to the Texas Rangers.

He oversaw the lockout of more than three months following the 2021 season with an agreement with the players finally coming together in the second week of March 2022.

When COVID-19 led to the delay of the 2020 season, Manfred and the owners had acrimonious negotiations with the players and the commissioner eventually imposed a 60-game season.

Also, Manfred was sharply criticized for granting immunity to players in exchange for testimony in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal from the 2017 season. Then-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and then-manager A.J. Hinch were both suspended for the 2020 season.

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